ABC 33/40 Weather Blog

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The latest information on Alabama weather, tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, national weather headlines and the science of meteorology in general.
Updated: 6 hours 49 min ago

Rain By Wednesday Night/Thursday

Mon, 11/03/2014 - 16:19

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

FINE FALL DAY: Hardly a cloud in the Alabama sky this afternoon, with temperatures mostly in the 60s. Tonight’s weather won’t be as cold as recent nights… the sky will stay clear, and most communities will see a low between 37 and 43 degrees.

Tomorrow will feature a good supply of sunshine with a high around 70 degrees as our wearing trend continues. Mid 70s are possible Wednesday afternoon; and that should be our warmest day of the week.

RAIN RETURNS TO ALABAMA: Keep in mind we have seen only 0.36″ here during the past 19 days, so some rain is needed, and we will have a decent change of getting some Wednesday night and Thursday. For North/Central Alabama, the latest guidance hints our main window for rain comes from about 12:00 midnight Wednesday night though 12:00 noon Thursday. Rain amounts should be generally 1/2 inch or less, and while some thunder is possible, no severe weather is expected.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Friday will be sunny and much cooler with a high in the 55-59 degree range. No rain for the weekend; the sky remains sunny Saturday and Sunday. We begin the weekend with lows in the 30s early Saturday; the high Saturday afternoon will be close to 60. Then, another shot of colder air arrives Sunday as the high drops into the 50-55 degree range with a cool north wind, and another freeze looks likely by Monday morning of next week with a low between 28 and 32 degrees for most communities.

LONG RANGE: The Arctic Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation are trending negative through mid-month, which supports a mean eastern U.S. upper trough, and that should keep temperatures here below average through at least the middle of November.

See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CST.. you can watch it on “James Spann 24/7″ on cable systems around the state, or on the web here.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

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I had a great time today visiting with the 6th graders at Berry Middle School in Hoover… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Categories: Weather

Warmer This Afternoon

Mon, 11/03/2014 - 07:10

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

ANOTHER COLD START: Here are some of the colder temperatures at daybreak across the great state of Alabama…

Black Creek (just northeast of Gadsden) 28
Cottondale 29
Gadsden (Noccalula Falls) 30
Fort Payne 30
Concord 31
Montevallo 32
Anniston 33
Coker 33
Lake View 35

WARMING TREND: Today’s high will be in the mid 60s with a good supply of sunshine as we dig out of the deep freeze, and a good chance we see 70 degrees tomorrow.

MID-WEEK RAIN: An upper trough west of the state will set up a beneficial rain event for much of Texas and Oklahoma in coming days, and some of that rain should creep into Northwest Alabama Wednesday afternoon. The better chance of rain comes Wednesday night and Thursday for our state; for now it looks like rain amounts will be 1/2 inch or less for most communities. A little thunder is possible, but no risk of severe weather.

MORE COLD AIR: As the rain moves out late Thursday, another shot of colder air moves in Thursday night. But, this air won’t be as cold as what we just experienced over the weekend. Friday will be sunny with a high in the 55-59 degree range, and we will be in the low to mid 30s by daybreak Saturday as the weekend begins.

The weekend will be dry, with sunny cool days and clear cold nights. Highs 57-61; lows in the 30s again early Sunday.

The first half of next week will be dry with temperatures generally below average for early November…

GULF COAST WEATHER: Sunny on the coast from Panama City to Gulf Shores today though Wednesday with highs moving up into the 70s. Showers are likely Thursday, then sunny days and fair nights Friday through the weekend. Highs over the weekend will be in the 60s, with lows in the chilly 40s.

TROPICS: The hurricane season runs through the end of November, but no sign of any tropical mischief anytime soon in the Atlantic basin.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it on “James Spann 24/7″ on cable systems around the state, or on the web here.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I will be doing a weather program this morning at Berry Middle School in Hoover… be looking for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Sunny Sunday

Sun, 11/02/2014 - 16:46

Looking at the weather maps today, we see surface high pressure dominating the eastern half of the U.S. That 1033 millibar high (translation=pretty strong) is centered from southern Kentucky to Central Mississippi. In the mid levels and upper levels of the atmosphere, we see a big wave pattern, with a trough over the eastern U.S., a ridge in the middle and a trough in the West. Clouds that were moving in from the northwest earlier have dried out as they pushed across Arkansas and western Tennessee into northern Mississippi. Hence they will not have much of an impact on our skies through the evening.

FIRST FREEZE OF SEASON AT BIRMINGHAM: It was a cold morning across Alabama with freezing temperatures generally north of I-59 and a few thrown in down into Southwest Alabama. Birmingham fell to 28F, while Calera was 6 degrees warmer at 34F. Tuscaloosa checked in with 30F and Anniston measured 29F. Interestingly, North Alabama readings were not substantially colder. Russellville won the cold weather lottery with 25F. The 28F at Birmingham was the coldest since March 26th and the first freeze since April 16th. Most folks should stay above freezing for the next few days with the exception of Eastern Alabama, where some freezing readings will likely drop below 32F tonight.

GETTING DARK EARLY TODAY: Sunset will come much earlier today because of the Daylight Saving Time change that occurred early this morning. Hopefully you weren’t an hour early for church or brunch! Highs this afternoon will rise into the upper 50s across the area. As mentioned early, most folks will be above freezing, in the 30s tonight, except for places like Gadsden, Fort Payne and Anniston in East Alabama. But look for frost still across much of the area anyway as grass and exposed automobiles fall to below freeze after dew forms.

SUNSHINE AHEAD: Plenty of sun in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday. And that surface high will slide east, giving us southerly surface winds by morning. That means moderating temperatures. With lots of sunshine, highs on Monday will be in the middle 60s with upper 60s to near 70F by Tuesday.

MIDWEEK WET WEATHER SYSTEM: Showers and storms will enter Northwest Alabama ahead of a cold front Wednesday night and will push southeastward through the state overnight. It should be weakening as it pushes toward I-59, but it will bring a soaking rain to the area late Wednesday night and early Thursday. Don’t look for great amounts of rainfall. Average amounts should be around a quarter of an inch. The GFS is a little slower with the system’s exit , keeping rain in the forecast deeper into the day on Thursday. Expect a high near 70F on Wednesday, but readings will fall back into the lower 60s on Thursday and be limited to the 50s on Friday. Lows will drop to around 40F by Friday morning.

Categories: Weather

Frosty Start on a Cold Morning

Sun, 11/02/2014 - 07:43

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

Widespread frost was occurring across Central Alabama this morning as we experience the coldest morning so far for the Fall season. In fact, the coldest morning since March 26th. Skywatcher at Black Creek reported a low of 22 while my station in Helena saw a low of 28 at this writing. Also, don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour since we ended Daylight Savings Time at 2:00 am. The surface high will move east of Alabama today ushering in a gradual warmup with highs today mainly in the upper 50s. This is still fairly chilly since our typical highs should be around 71.

As the upper ridge slides over us on Monday and Tuesday, we should warm up into the lower 70s by Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday will see another strong trough dig into the Central Plains states pushing a cold front into the Southeast US. Still some minor timing differences in the models, but it looks like our best shot for showers should come from Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning. Instability appears to be limited, so I don’t expect to see any strong thunderstorms, just showers.

The upper trough digs in and scoots by us on Thursday, bringing another relatively cold shot of air into the area, but not as cold as the current system. Thursday might end up being one of those days where temperatures remain steady or fall during the day as colder air advects into the area. Some wrap around moisture will keep the sky cloudy to start Friday but we should see clearing during the day. The weekend looks dry with lows in the upper 30s and highs in the lower 60s.

The Atlantic Basin is quiet, but we are watching Vance in the Eastern Pacific. Vance is forecast to become a hurricane today, remain a hurricane for a couple of days, and then begin degrading into a depression along the west coast of Mexico at mid-week.

Looking out into voodoo country, or Week 2, the GFS maintains a cold look to the pattern with another fairly deep trough moving through the Mississippi River Valley on the 14th. By the 17th there is troughiness over the eastern US which should keep the eastern US at and below seasonal values.

And you can follow news and weather updates from ABC 33/40 on Twitter here. Stay in the know by following the whole gang – here’s the list…

James Spann Charles Daniel Bill Murray Brian Peters E-Warn (AL wx watches/warnings)

James Spann will be up Monday morning with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video. Be sure to check back for additional notes on our weather. Have a great day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Time Changes Tonight

Sat, 11/01/2014 - 19:00

A friendly reminder that Daylight Saving Time ends tonight. We fall back on Standard Time at 2AM in the morning. Don’t forget to set your clocks back before heading to bed, and gain that extra hour of sleep tonight.

With the time changing, that means more sun in the mornings, while evenings will be dark. It will be getting dark closer to 5PM as the amount of daylight hours continues to get shorter until we reach the Winter Solstice just before Christmas.

We will stay on Standard Time until March 8th, 2015.

Categories: Weather

Chilly Saturday, Freezing Temps Tonight

Sat, 11/01/2014 - 15:26

What a difference a day and a front makes. It is feeling more like early winter compared to mid-fall across the state today. All locations across the state were in the 30s this morning and this afternoon, it remains breezy with temps in the 40s and low 50s.  There are some clouds through the state, mainly east of Interstate 65. By this evening, the winds will go calm, and the sky will clear, get ready for a frigid night with lows below freezing.

Nearly the entire state of Alabama is under a freeze warning tonight. This warning extends all the way down to northern Mobile and Baldwin counties. The only part of the state not under the warning is the extreme southeastern counties which are actually covered by the NWS in Tallahassee. Look for temps to range between 27-32 degrees in the morning. This weekend should mark the end of the growing season across much of the state.

Categories: Weather

November Almanac

Sat, 11/01/2014 - 09:00


Photograph by Kathy Bell, owner of kbella photography.

“November is the most disagreeable month in the whole year.” Louisa May Alcott

November is the transition month to winter across much of the country, and Alabama is no exception. The days are approaching their shortest of the year, and the heat budget is becoming increasingly negative, so average temperatures are dropping.

The storm track is becoming more active and precipitation totals are increasing. There is a secondary severe weather season in November in Alabama that in some recent years has been busier than the spring primary season. In 2002, an unusually strong outbreak on November 10th produced a series of ten tornadoes across North Alabama that killed 12. Two of the tornadoes were rated F3.

According to the long term averages from 1981-2010, 4.85 inches of rain falls in the month. The most ever observed is 15.25 inches in 1948. It generally rains on 9.1 days. Thunderstorms are observed on average on 1.9 November days. On average, there is no snow. The most snow ever observed in November was 1.4 inches in 1950.

At the start of the month, the average high is 69 degrees. It will fall to 60 degrees by month’s end. The normal monthly high is 64.0F. In November 1931, the normal high was 72.4F, the warmest November on record. It has been as warm as 85F, in 1998, 2000 and 2003.

Average lows start off at 46 degrees, and fall to 38 by month’s end. The average low is 41.8F. The coldest average low was in the cold winter of 1976-77, when the November average low was 33.8F. In the eleventh month, it has been as cold as 5F, back on November 25, 1950. The next coldest reading was 8 degrees higher…on November 24, 1970.

The sky is cloudy 33 percent of the time. The sky is clear 31 percent of the time. Only October averages more clear sky time in the Magic City. Dense fog is observed on one day in the month on average.

Categories: Weather

Windy, Cold, Freeze Sunday AM

Sat, 11/01/2014 - 07:23

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

Welcome to a chilly November! It is going to really feel like winter today with a stiff north wind. In spite of the sunshine, temperatures are not expected to get much above 50 degrees across the area. This is about 20 degrees colder than the typical November 1st high temperatures which average 71 degrees. And tonight just about all of Central Alabama will fall below freezing with many places dipping into the 20s. The record low for Birmingham for Sunday morning is 24 degrees, so I do not expect us to set a new record, but with a low of 29 it is going to feel quite cold.

For those heading out to football games today, Auburn will be on the road as they play at Ole Miss in Oxford this evening with kickoff at 6:00 pm. The sky will be clear, temperatures will fall from 48 degrees at kickoff down to near 40 degrees by the fourth quarter. A chilly, crisp evening for football. UAB is also on the road; they play at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, FL, this evening. Again, a clear sky is likely with temperatures falling from near 75 at kickoff to the lower 60s by the fourth quarter.

We should see a fairly quick moderation in temperatures as the upper trough moves off the Northeast Coast of the US and we come under a substantial ridge. The strong trough will be responsible for a significant nor’easter storm for New England Sunday and Monday.

With the upper ridge in place for Monday and Tuesday, we should see our highs climb back to near 70 degrees. Yet another strong trough will push a cold front into the Southeast US on Wednesday bringing us our next chance for rain. This front will bring another shot of colder air into the region, however, this one does not appear to be nearly as cold as the current system with highs dipping back into the 60s with lows mainly in the 40s. We should be dry for next weekend.

The tropical Atlantic remains quiet but we do have Tropical Storm Vance in the eastern Pacific. Vance is forecast to strengthen to a hurricane late Sunday but weaken as it recurves into Mexico by Wednesday.

Looking out into voodoo country, the pattern remains very active with a parade of troughs coming through the fast moving flow. The GFS maintains a general troughiness over the eastern half of the country, so I expect our weather to remain on the cool side but nothing seems to be as chilly as the current system.

And you can follow news and weather updates from ABC 33/40 on Twitter here. Stay in the know by following the whole gang – here’s the list…

James Spann Charles Daniel Bill Murray Brian Peters E-Warn (AL wx watches/warnings)

I expect to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted by 8 or so on Sunday morning. Wrap up if you have activities outdoors today. Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Windy And Cold Night Ahead

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 15:22

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

RADAR CHECK: A few showers are over North Alabama, and north winds are beginning to increase as the coldest air so far this season moves into our state.

Showers will end early tonight; expect windy and cold weather for the trick or treaters with temperatures falling quickly into the 40s this evening with north winds averaging 10-20 mph, making it feel colder.

FREEZING TEMPERATURES: We project our first freeze since April 16 early tomorrow, with a low very close to 32 degrees in most places. The winds will keep up through the night, and wind chill index values will drop into the 20s toward daybreak.

The day tomorrow will be sunny, but windy and cold with a high close to 50 degrees; areas north of Birmingham won’t get out of the 40s. A north wind of 15-25 mph will make it feel colder.

Expect another freeze early Sunday, with a range of 28 to 34 degrees for most communities. The wind will be near calm, so widespread frost is likely as well. Then, a warming trend begins Sunday afternoon with a sunny sky and a high between 57 and 60 degrees.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For tonight’s high school games, it will be windy and sharply colder with temperatures falling through the 40s. North winds will gust to 25 mph at times, making it feel colder. A few sprinkles are possible during the first half of the games.

Auburn will be on the road; they play at Ole Miss in Oxford tomorrow evening (kickoff 6p CT). The sky will be clear, temperatures will fall from 48 degrees at kickoff down to near 40 degrees by the fourth quarter. A chilly, crisp night for football.

UAB is also on the road; they play at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, FL tomorrow evening (6p CT kickoff). Again, a clear sky is likely with temperatures falling from near 80 at kickoff to the mid 70s by the fourth quarter.

NEXT WEEK: Dry weather continues over the first half of the week with a slow warming trend. The 12Z GFS hints the next chance of rain will come late Wednesday night and Thursday… see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

My next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here Monday morning by 7:00 a.m… Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!

Categories: Weather

A Few Showers; Then Much Colder

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 06:24

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

RADAR CHECK: A little light rain is moving through North Alabama just before daybreak…

Otherwise, it is a quiet and cool morning with temperatures in the 40s. The sky will be occasionally cloudy today, and we should reach the mid 60s before the coldest air so far this season begins to arrive late this afternoon. Strong north winds will develop late in the day, and temperatures will fall quickly tonight. It will be pretty chilly and blustery for the trick or treaters this evening with a north wind of 12-22 mph.

We will maintain the chance of a little light rain in scattered spots today and early tonight, but all of that should be over by 10:00 p.m.

FREEZING TEMPS: We are projecting early morning temperatures around 30 degrees tomorrow; for Birmingham it will be our first freeze since April 16. The wind chill index will be in the 20s as the north wind continues. Tomorrow will feature a cloudless sky, but the weather stays windy and cold with a high only around 50 degrees; communities north of Birmingham won’t make it out of the 40s.

Another freeze is likely early Sunday, with lows between 28 and 34 for most places, and as the wind goes calm widespread frost is likely. Then, we rise into the 57-60 degree range Sunday afternoon as a warming trend begins.

FYI… the average date of the first freeze in Birmingham is November 9, so we are getting it this year about a week early.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For tonight’s high school games, it will be windy and sharply colder with temperatures falling through the 40s. North winds will gust to 25 mph at times, making it feel colder. A few sprinkles are possible during the first half of the games.

Auburn will be on the road; they play at Ole Miss in Oxford tomorrow evening (kickoff 6p CT). The sky will be clear, temperatures will fall from 48 degrees at kickoff down to near 40 degrees by the fourth quarter. A chilly, crisp night for football.

UAB is also on the road; they play at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, FL tomorrow evening (6p CT kickoff). Again, a clear sky is likely with temperatures falling from near 80 at kickoff to the mid 70s by the fourth quarter.

NEXT WEEK: We stay dry Monday and Tuesday with a gradual warming trend… a few showers are possible at mid-week Wednesday night, but for now it looks like rain will be very light and spotty. See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and details.

We should note Birmingham has received only 0.36″ of rain over the past 15 days.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

First Freeze Of The Season Ahead

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 15:00

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today… I am live from “Boo at the Zoo” at the Birmingham Zoo on ABC 33/40 News at 4, 5, and 6:00**

FINE FALL DAY: What a delightful day across Alabama; ample sunshine and temperatures mostly in the 60s this afternoon. The average high for Birmingham on October 30 is 70.

HERE COMES THE COLD AIR: Look for increasing north winds across North Alabama tomorrow afternoon, and clouds will increase over the northern third of the state. Tomorrow night will be windy and sharply colder, setting up a blustery and chilly Halloween evening.

We will be right at the freezing mark by daybreak Saturday, and the north wind will push wind chill index values down in the 20s. During the day Saturday, the sky will be sunny, but conditions will remain windy and cold with a high only around 50 degrees; many communities north of Birmingham won’t get out of the 40s.

Sunday morning should feature widespread frost as the wind goes calm; lows early Sunday will range from 28 to 34 degrees for most places. The sky will stay sunny Sunday with a high not too far from 60 degrees as a warming trend gets underway.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For tomorrow night’s high school games, it will be windy and sharply colder with temperatures falling through the 40s. North winds will gust to 25 mph at times, making it feel colder. A few sprinkles are possible over Northeast Alabama.

Auburn will be on the road; they play at Ole Miss in Oxford Saturday evening (kickoff 6p CT). The sky will be clear, temperatures will fall from 48 degrees at kickoff down to near 40 degrees by the fourth quarter. A perfect chilly, crisp night for football.

UAB is also on the road; they play at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, FL Saturday evening (5p CT kickoff). Again, a clear sky is likely with temperatures falling from near 80 at kickoff to the mid 70s by the fourth quarter.

NEXT WEEK: Looks like our next chance of rain comes late Wednesday and Wednesday night; for now it doesn’t look to be a major rain event with amounts generally under 1/2 inch.

GULF COAST WEATHER: Sunny days, clear nights through early next week, but the weekend will be chilly from Panama City over to Gulf Shores. Highs this weekend will be near 60, with lows potentially reaching the upper 40s.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I had a great time today visiting with the 4th graders at Vernon Intermediate School in Lamar County; be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Categories: Weather

Long Winter Ahead?

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 06:30

No, I am not talking about a “long winter” due to excessive cold/snow/ice, etc… but due to the extra work that will be required of us putting down bad information that is spread around on social media. It has already started, and it isn’t even November.

PARTIALLY OUR FAULT: Let me say up front that the problem is partially ours. The weather community, as you well know, missed the forecast on January 28, when a “dusting” turned into two inches, and “no major travel issues” turned into a traffic nightmare.

I don’t blame people for not trusting winter forecasts for a while; it will take time to earn that trust. Who cares what James Spann or the National Weather Service says? They were wrong last year, so rogue posts on Facebook are in fair play. I understand the temptation to share wild “worst case” winter forecasts. But, the point of this post is asking you NOT to do that for reasons I will explain.

YESTERDAY: I was about to leave for live weather on ABC 33/40 from Disney on Ice at the BJCC yesterday afternoon, when social media was lightning up about “James Spann forecasting a big snow for Alabama”. After some quick investigation, turns out this was floating around Facebook, and spreading like wildfire…

This, of course, was a forecast from a snow event we had back in February, and has absolutely nothing to do with current weather.

I honestly don’t know who started it; one person reported Facebook was pushing it into people’s newsfeed as a “related story” after a current post from me. Seems like folks just couldn’t resist the share button, and I spent considerable time setting the record straight.

AND… to make matters worse, another blog posted some rogue computer model run yesterday morning that suggested snow could fall over parts of Northeast Alabama as the weekend begins. This somehow came back later in the day to me as “James Spann is forecasting a snow storm this weekend in Alabama”.

Here is a piece from the Washington Post on this problem from 2013…

This is another topic for another day, to be discussed within the weather enterprise, but after the January 28 snow “bust”, you won’t see any outliers like that posted from me on social media. Generally speaking, when I show model data that seems like it won’t verify, it is on my daily Weather Xtreme video, which has been produced for over 10 years twice daily, and long time viewers understand that product goes deep into the weather forecast explanation and how to use the products I show. You can watch it anytime here, and it doesn’t take very long.

MY PLEA: Simply think before sharing extreme weather forecasts you see on social media. Many “click bait” forecasts are produced by people that have no weather training, and honestly could care less what happens. They just want the clicks, which they turn into revenue. Our team spends long, hard hours producing content for this blog; you can basically see our heart and soul here with the discussions and video products. If you see some extreme snow/ice forecast, I just ask you check the blog before sending it on to your friends.

Yep, we have been wrong before, and we will be wrong again. Our skill in handling winter weather events is not as high as severe weather forecasting, but you might be surprised at the winter weather accuracy. People will always remember the bad ones, however, which is just human nature.

Let’s all take a deep breath and get through the winter weather season with good, solid information. Think before you hit that “share button”…

Categories: Weather

Freezing Temps Possible By Daybreak Saturday

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 06:06

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

CHILLY MORNING: Phase one of the cool down is here; these are temperatures across Alabama at daybreak:

Black Creek (just northeast of Gadsden) 34
Fort Payne 34
Valley Head 36
Haleyville 37
Cullman 37
Gadsden (Noccalula Falls) 37
Concord 38
Coker 40
Anniston 42
Tuscaloosa 43
Birmingham 43

The day ahead will be sunny with a high in the mid to upper 60s.

EVEN COLDER AIR: Our weather will stay dry tomorrow with a high in the mid 60s, but look for a big increase in north winds during the afternoon into tomorrow night; that wind will usher in the coldest air so far this season.

It will be blustery and cold for the trick or treaters tomorrow night; temperatures will fall quickly into the 40s during the evening hours, with a north wind of 12-22 mph making it feel colder.

FREEZE POTENTIAL: We are still projecting lows between 30 and 35 degrees by daybreak Saturday, but the coldest morning for most should come early Sunday when the wind becomes calm. Widespread frost is likely Sunday morning, and colder valleys and protected areas will reach the 20s.

The weekend will be dry with a sunny sky both days; the high Saturday will be only in the low to mid 50s, then closer to 60 Sunday.

TO THE NORTHEAST: Winter storm watches are up for the mountains of East Tennessee and western North Carolina, where almost a foot of snow is possible for the higher elevations.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For tomorrow night’s high school games, it will be windy and sharply colder with temperatures falling through the 40s. North winds will gust to 25 mph at times, making it feel colder. A few sprinkles are possible over Northeast Alabama.

Auburn will be on the road; they play at Ole Miss in Oxford Saturday evening (kickoff 6p CT). The sky will be clear, temperatures will fall from 48 degrees at kickoff down to near 40 degrees by the fourth quarter. A perfect chilly, crisp night for football.

UAB is also on the road; they play at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, FL Saturday evening (5p CT kickoff). Again, a clear sky is likely with temperatures falling from near 80 at kickoff to the mid 70s by the fourth quarter.

NEXT WEEK: We will be dry Monday and Tuesday, but showers are possible Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night. For now it doesn’t look like a major rain event, and no severe weather is expected. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I will be going a weather program this morning at Vernon Intermediate School, and then this evening I will be live from the Birmingham Zoo on ABC 33/40 News at 4, 5, and 6:00 for “Boo at the Zoo”… look for updated forecast notes here by 4:00 p.m. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Freezing Temps Possible By The Weekend

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 15:09

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today; I am live at the opening night of “Disney on Ice” at the BJCC; part of tonight’s proceeds will go to our annual Toys for Tots campaign**

CLEARING: The clearing process is proceeding on schedule; much of North Alabama is enjoying blue sky and sunshine, and the clouds to the south will be gone soon.

Temperatures, as expected, are cooler with readings mostly in the 60s.

Tomorrow will be a sunny day with high in the upper 60s.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: The coldest air so far this season will drop into the Deep South. North winds will pick up late Friday afternoon and Friday night, gusting to 25 mph at times. Temperatures will plunge quickly Friday night, and we project a low between 30 and 35 degrees at daybreak Saturday.

Clouds will invade the northeast part of Alabama Friday night, and a sprinkle or two is not out of the question as the cold air rushes into the state.

Saturday and Sunday will be cool, but dry with a mostly sunny sky both days. The high Saturday will be only in the low 50s, and some communities north of Birmingham won’t get out of the 40s with a cool north wind of 10-20 mph.

Sunday morning will feature another freeze in many places, with a low between 28 and 34. Widespread frost is likely early Sunday with a clear sky and light wind. The high Sunday will be in the upper 50s.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For Friday night’s high school games, it will be windy and sharply colder with temperatures falling through the 40s. North winds will gust to 25 mph at times, making it feel colder. A few sprinkles are possible over Northeast Alabama.

Auburn will be on the road; they play at Ole Miss in Oxford Saturday evening (kickoff 6p CT). The sky will be clear, temperatures will fall from 48 degrees at kickoff down to near 40 degrees by the fourth quarter. A perfect cool, crisp night for football.

UAB is also on the road; they play at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, FL Saturday evening (5p CT kickoff). Again, a clear sky is likely with temperatures falling from near 80 at kickoff to the mid 70s by the fourth quarter.

NEXT WEEK: Expect a slow warming trend, and some rain is possible by mid-week, but model guidance is keeping the heavier and most widespread rain west of Alabama.

TROPICS: A disturbance just northeast of the Leeward Islands could develop slowly in coming days, but it is moving north, and will not impact the U.S.

GULF COAST WEATHER: A few showers are likely on the coast this afternoon from Panama City over to Gulf Shores, but expect sunny days and clear nights tomorrow through the weekend. It will be sharply colder on the coast Saturday and Sunday with highs around 60, and lows in the upper 40s.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

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I enjoyed seeing the senior adults today at Southside… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Categories: Weather

Rain Ends Later This Morning; Cold Weekend Ahead

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 06:15

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

RADAR CHECK: Rain, with embedded thunderstorms, is moving through North/Central Alabama at daybreak.

Nothing severe, and rain amounts should be generally under 1/2 inch. The rain will end from northwest to southeast during the late morning hours.

Expect a clearing sky this afternoon, and the weather turns cooler as most communities will hold in the 60s today.

Tomorrow will be a bright, sunny, pleasant fall day with a high in the upper 60s.

COLD AIR ARRIVES THIS WEEKEND: North winds will really pick up across Alabama late Friday and Friday night as the coldest air so far this season blows into the state. It will be blustery for the trick or treaters Friday evening with falling temperatures, and a north wind of 12-22 mph.

Temperatures will drop to near the freezing mark by daybreak Saturday, easily the coldest morning so far this season.

We project a high Saturday only in the 50-55 degree range, with a gusty north wind making it feel colder. But, the air will be dry and the sky will be sunny.

Sunday morning’s lows will range from 28 to 34 degrees with widespread frost likely as the wind goes calm. Then, Sunday will be sunny with a high in the mid to upper 50s. At least the wind will be relatively light, unlike Saturday.

NORTHEAST OF ALABAMA: Places like Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Snowshoe Mountain, West Virginia should see their first snow flakes of the season as a coastal low forms near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For Friday night’s high school games, it will be clear, windy, and sharply colder with temperatures falling through the 50s, reaching the 40s by the second half of the games. North winds will gust to 25 mph at times, making it feel colder.

Auburn will be on the road; they play at Ole Miss in Oxford Saturday evening (kickoff 6p CT). The sky will be clear, temperatures will fall from 50 degrees at kickoff down to near 40 degrees by the fourth quarter. Perfect cool, crisp night for football.

UAB is also on the road; they play at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, FL Saturday evening (5p CT kickoff). Again, a clear sky is likely with temperatures falling from near 80 at kickoff to the mid 70s by the fourth quarter.

NEXT WEEK: Expect dry weather Monday and Tuesday with a slow warming trend; the latest GFS run has backed off on the Wednesday rain event; see the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and details.

TROPICS: A disturbance just northeast of the Leeward Islands could develop slowly in coming days, but it is moving north, and will not impact the U.S.

GULF COAST WEATHER: A few showers are likely on the coast this afternoon from Panama City over to Gulf Shores, but expect sunny days and clear nights tomorrow through the weekend. It will be sharply colder on the coast Saturday and Sunday with highs around 60, and lows in the upper 40s.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

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I will be speaking this morning to a senior adult group in Southside, in Etowah County, and this evening I will be live from opening night of Disney on Ice at the BJCC, which is also the kickoff for our annual Toys for Tots drive. I will post updated forecast notes here later this afternoon… enjoy the day…

Categories: Weather

Rain, Cooler Air On The Way

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 15:43

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

THIS AFTERNOON: As expected, temperatures are not as warm across Alabama today with readings mostly in the 70s. The sky is generally cloudy, but there is no rain in our state. But, to the west, showers and storms are over West Tennessee and North Mississippi, with some of the heaviest rain south of Memphis.

This band of showers and storms will move into the northwest corner of Alabama tonight, and slowly move through the state tomorrow morning.

For Birmingham/Tuscaloosa/Anniston/Gadsden, it looks like the main window for rain will come from 3:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon tomorrow, with amounts generally less than 1/2 inch. Some thunder is possible, but no severe weather is expected.

The sky will clear tomorrow afternoon as cooler and drier air enters our state; the high will drop back into the 60s.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: On these days expect a good supply of sunshine; the high Thursday will be in the mid to upper 60s, followed by a high around 70 degrees Friday. Early morning lows will be in the 40s.

WEEKEND CHILL: The coolest air so far this season blows into the Deep South Friday night, setting up a chilly weekend. The latest model data suggests highs only in the low to mid 50s Saturday, with morning lows not too far from freezing Sunday morning. Looks like we will have widespread frost early Sunday, with many North/Central Alabama communities seeing their first freeze of the fall season, effectively ending the 2014 growing season. The air will be dry and we expect a sunny sky both days.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For Friday night’s high school games, it will be clear and very cool with temperatures falling through the 50s, reaching the 40s by the final whistle. A north wind will gust up to 15/20 mph at times.

Auburn will be on the road; they play at Ole Miss in Oxford Saturday evening (kickoff 6p CT). The sky will be clear, temperatures will fall from 52 degrees at kickoff down to near 40 degrees by the fourth quarter. Perfect cool, crisp night for football.

UAB is also on the road; they play at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, FL Saturday evening (5p CT kickoff). Again, a clear sky is likely with temperatures falling from near 80 at kickoff to the mid 70s by the fourth quarter.

NEXT WEEK: The GFS model continues to advertise a pretty decent rain event around the middle of the week, on Wednesday November 5. See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: A disturbance east of the Leeward Islands has some potential for slow development, but it will move northward across the open Atlantic, and is no threat to the U.S.

GULF COAST WEATHER: A few scattered showers are possible on the coast tomorrow from Panama City west to Gulf Shores, then sunny days and fair nights Thursday through the weekend. It will be much cooler on the coast this weekend, with highs dropping into the 60s, and lows in the upper 40s.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

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I had a great time today visiting with the 3rd and 4th graders at Hayden Elementary School in Blount County… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Categories: Weather

Cold Front On The Way

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 06:24

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

NOT AS WARM TODAY: Anniston established a new record high yesterday for October 27 with 87 degrees… Birmingham’s high was 86, and Tuscaloosa reached 85. The average high is 71.

Today won’t be as warm; most places will see a high in the upper 70s with a partly sunny sky. And, we should mention today is the 13th consecutive day with no rain for Alabama.

SHOWERS ARRIVE LATE TONIGHT: A band of showers and thunderstorms ahead of a cold front should move into the northwest corner of the state late tonight; it will then move slowly southward. For places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden, the main window for rain will come from about 3:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon tomorrow.

For most communities, rain amounts will be under 1/2 inch with limited moisture. And, while some thunder is possible, there is no risk of severe weather. The sky will clear tomorrow afternoon, and the day will be noticeably cooler with a high in the 60s.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: These two days will be cool and dry with a good supply of sunshine; the high Thursday will be in the upper 60s, followed by low 70s Friday. Lows will be generally in the 40-45 degree range, although some of the colder valleys could see upper 30s.

WEEKEND CHILL: The coldest air so far this season blows in here; we won’t get out of the 50s Saturday, and by early Sunday we project lows in the 33-38 degree range for most communities with a good chance of frost. Colder spots will see a freeze. The air over the weekend will be dry, and the sky will be sunny both days.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For Friday night’s high school games, it will be clear and very cool with temperatures falling through the 50s, possibly reaching the 40s by the final whistle.

Auburn will be on the road; they play at Ole Miss in Oxford Saturday evening (kickoff 6p CT). The sky will be clear, temperatures will fall from 55 degrees at kickoff into the mid 40s by the fourth quarter. Perfect cool, crisp night for football.

UAB is also on the road; they play at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, FL Saturday evening (5p CT kickoff). Again, a clear sky is likely with temperatures falling from near 80 at kickoff to the mid 70s by the fourth quarter.

NEXT WEEK: Looks like we have potential for a decent rain event around Wednesday November 5… see the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: Tropical Storm Hanna moved into Central America last night and is dissipating; the rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet for now.

GULF COAST WEATHER: A few scattered showers are possible tomorrow afternoon from Panama City over to Gulf Shores, otherwise dry weather continues through the weekend with sunny days and fair nights. The weekend will be very cool on the coast, with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s Saturday and Sunday.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. Scroll down for the show notes on the new episode we recorded last night.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
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I have a weather program today at Hayden Elementary School in Blount County… be looking for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

WeatherBrains 457: Don’t Pull My Ears

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 05:15

WeatherBrains Episode 457 is now online (October 27, 2014). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is a show alum, having appeared on show number 300 in 2011. He is an educator at the Warning Decision Training Branch in Norman, OK. He trains meteorologists on how to use radar and satellite data so they may produce more accurate forecasts and warnings. He develops new techniques for combining satellite and radar data. Jim LaDue, welcome back to WeatherBrains.

Tonight’ Guest Panelist is also a repeat offender. Tonight marks her fourth appearance on the show. She is a graduate of Florida State University. She just recently got a job as a Meteorologist at WHAG in Washington, DC. Congratulations and welcome back to the show Raquel Nicora.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 92 at Big Spring, TX, and 8 at Bodie State Park, CA
  • Hanna formed today and will move ashore tonight in Central America
  • Kevin is out starting his new job
  • Bill is headed for Calgary
  • Relatively quiet weather across the Nation
  • Some really cold air coming
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer is continuing to handle the incoming messages from our listeners.

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: The days are getting longer and there has been a bit of a nip in the air in some spots. So this episode we take a look at frost, specifically hoar frost.

    Listener Surveys: Okay, we continue to drive this topic into the ground, but we really do like to hear from you. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the Listener Survey. The survey takes just a minute or two to complete and provides us with an opportunity to learn where you are and hear your thoughts and comments on the show. Click here to take the survey.

    Web Sites from Episode 457:

    Raquel’s Station web site

    Warning Decision Training Branch

    Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science Department at FSU

    International Space Station Spotting

    Picks of the Week:

    Nate Johnson – NWA Spotify comments

    Jim LaDue – Operational High Resolution Rapid Refresh Training

    Raquel Nicora – Making weather into music

    Brian Peters – Gets the Fog Horn!

    John Scala – NWS damage assessment viewer

    James Spann – Storm Prediction Center Outlook Change Page

    Aubrey Urbanowicz – spaceweather.com sun spots

    SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

    The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, Aubrey Urbanowicz, Dr. John Scala, Rick Smith, Kevin Selle, and Brian Peters. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.

    Categories: Weather

    Cooler Days Ahead For Alabama

    Mon, 10/27/2014 - 15:37

    An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

    WARM OCTOBER DAY: Here a few 3p CT temperatures across the great state of Alabama…

    Montgomery 89
    Anniston 86
    Tuscaloosa 85
    Birmingham 85
    Hunstville 85
    Gadsden 82

    Birmingham is three degrees away from the record high for October 27, 88 set in 1940. The average high today is 71. The sky is blue, and there is no rain on radar.

    CHANGES AHEAD: Tomorrow won’t be quite as warm; the high will drop back into the 70s for most communities with a partly sunny sky. Then, a cold front will bring a band of showers down into North Alabama late tomorrow night into Wednesday morning. The high resolution NAM hints the main window for showers for North/Central Alabama (places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden) will come from 3:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon Wednesday.

    This won’t be a big rain event; rain totals should be well under one-half inch, and some communities south of I-20 will miss the showers completely. Wednesday will be much cooler with a high in the 60s.

    THURSDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND: The weather will be cool and dry on these four days. Thursday’s high will be close to 70, with low to mid 70s Friday, but a new push of cool air blows in here for the weekend. The 12Z run of the GFS model suggests it will be the coolest air so far this season; some communities north of Birmingham won’t get out of the 50s, and lows will be in the 30s early Saturday and Sunday morning. Colder valleys and protected areas have a decent chance of seeing a light freeze early Sunday.

    NEXT WEEK: Another cold front will bring a chance of rain around Wednesday November 5, but we have seen varied solutions concerning the amount of rain to expect. Just too early to call; see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

    TROPICS: Tropical Storm Hanna formed quickly this morning near the coast of Central America; it is moving inland this afternoon, and will drift into Nicaragua with potential for heavy rain. Another wave is east of the Leeward Islands; just a small risk of development there, and if by chance anything does organize it will move north, and northeast across the open Atlantic.

    GULF COAST WEATHER: A few scattered showers are possible Wednesday on the coast from Panama City to Gulf Shores, otherwise mostly sunny days and fair nights through the weekend. Highs will be in the 70s through Friday, but will drop into the 67-70 degree range Saturday and Sunday. Early morning lows could reach the upper 40s on the coast over the coming weekend.

    WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it on “James Spann 24/7″ on cable systems around the state, or on the web here.

    CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

    Facebook
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    I had a great time today visiting with the 4th graders at Walker Elementary School in Tuscaloosa County… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow….

    Categories: Weather

    Hanna Forms

    Mon, 10/27/2014 - 08:53

    The remnant low from Tropical Depression #9, which formed over the southwestern Caribbean last week and moved across the Yucatan into the northwestern Caribbean has developed into Tropical Storm Hanna this morning.

    It is very near the coast of Nicaragua and will move into that country today. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect along the coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras.

    Top winds are 40 mph. Heavy rains of 10-15 inches will be the main problem with life threatening landslides likely.

    Categories: Weather